Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

WCLC 2020: KEYNOTE-799 Update on Pembrolizumab With Chemoradiotherapy in Stage III Lung Cancer

By: Joshua Swore
Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2021

When added to platinum chemoradiotherapy, pembrolizumab may provide a clinical benefit in advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), based on an update of the ongoing KEYNOTE-799 study presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2020 World Conference on Lung Cancer Singapore (WCLC, Abstract OA02.03), held in virtual format in January 2021. “Pembrolizumab with standard concurrent chemoradiation therapy showed promising antitumor activity and manageable safety in patients with unresectable, locally advanced, stage III NSCLC, regardless of PD-L1 TPS and tumor histology,” said Martin Reck, MD, PhD, of Hospital Grosshansdorf, Germany, and colleagues.

The study included 213 patients with previously untreated, unresectable stage III NSCLC. Patients were split into two cohorts. Cohort A included 112 patients treated with pembrolizumab, carboplatin, paclitaxel, and thoracic radiotherapy. Cohort B included 61 patients with nonsquamous NSCLC treated with pembrolizumab, cisplatin, pemetrexed, and thoracic radiotherapy. Following cycles of chemoradiotherapy, both cohorts received the same 14 additional cycles of pembrolizumab.

As of July 2020, the study reported a median cutoff time for data procurement of 15.5 months for cohort A and 13.6 months for cohort B. The overall response rate in cohort A was 69.6%, and in cohort B, it was 70.5%. The 12-month progression-free survival rates were also similar in both cohorts, with 67.7% in cohort A and 65.2% in cohort B. However, the 12-month overall survival rate differed slightly, as cohort A had an 81% rate and cohort B, an 88% rate.

Grade 3 or greater pneumonitis occurred at approximately an 8% frequency in both cohorts. However, cohort A experienced more severe side effects, with 72 patients (64.3%) reporting grade 3 to 5 treatment-related adverse events, whereas 47 patients (46.5%) in cohort B reported the same grades.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit

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